Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado

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Korsakova pulled her sunglasses away and managed a smile. "Are you asking me out, Agent Bettmann?"

Bettmann matched her smile. "Only if you say 'yes.'"

A ding broke the returned silence. "I would love to, but I think I want my old life back. Goodbye, Agent Bettmann." Korsakova pushed her sunglasses back over a pair of red eyes and stepped onto the elevator. "Five minutes behind, right?" she asked after turning around and pushing an interior button.

"Five minutes behind." Bettmann gave a single wave of his hand to the closing elevator door.


"How have you been?" the approaching woman asked William with a sly, seductive smile before he made a pretense of inspecting her ID badge.

"Fine," William replied from his desk beside the conveyor belt and metal detector. "Hand on the pad, please, and look straight ahead."

Svetlana Korsakova obediently placed her right hand on the black rubber square foot that rested beside the triumphal arch of a metal detector, and looked straight ahead as a second biometric device scanned her eyes with a thin wedge of a laser beam that descended her face swiftly. "You know, I find all of this very exciting, William."

"I don't know what you're talking about. Step through, please." The woman stepped through as instructed, and rounded the end of the conveyor belt on the far side of the arch to pull up next to William. "Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. I find this very arousing."

William's eyes squinted hard at the luggage scanner's screen. "Where's your uniform? You have nothing in your luggage."

First Star by W.R. Hammons:

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